We are very proud of our particularly diverse and dynamic team and group of children at the nursery and welcome families from literally all around the globe.

Festivals and Celebrations

Instilling a respect for all cultures and walks of life is something we are very committed to. Mimi is the Multicultural Representative here at Young Friends, as well as being our Gibbon Supervisor. She is a highly-valued team member who coordinates activities that celebrate popular cultural traditions and festivals from all over the world and ensures each ‘event’ is infiltrates throughout the nursery. Parents particularly admire this element of Young Friends Nursery, and we often invite families into the nursery to share their home cultures with their child’s group in whatever way they can/wish. Parents often get involved by bringing traditional clothes, sharing stories and dances with the children or doing crafts or cooking. The children and staff have often created recipes traditionally eaten at each specific celebration and eat with traditional utensils. This is always a great opportunity for both the children and families, as it encourages communication a forum for everybody to share and learn together and instils a great respect for other ways of life – we feel this is a vital characteristic throughout life.

Mimi spends considerable time researching festivities and cultures and developing activity ideas for the children to learn about all sorts of festivals As a result our children take part in consistent and broad multicultural activities. It is impossible to encompass our efforts in this area entirely but a small handful of recent examples (2016) are:

During Diwali (festival of light) last year, the children made their own candle holders using salt dough and decorated them with glue, glitter and paint. They took the candles home and were encouraged to ask their family to light the candles for Lakshmi. The children also enjoyed a glow stick party, which involved lots of shaking, jumping and showing those moves.

To celebrate Janmashtami, the children listened to the story of Lord Krishna which was told by one of our children’s older sisters. Amazing. The myth goes that Lord Krishna loves butter, and tries to get it, whatever the price. So after the beautifully told story in the sunshine on the garden hill, our delighted children played a game where they had to stretch up and pop coloured water balloons that were fixed to a string across the garden (which represented butter) to re-enact the story. Some of the children even dressed up in Indian clothes and acted out the main characters, Krishna and Yashoda. To finish we had an Indian dance lesson with children, staff and parents in the garden. It was really special.

Young Friends Nursery have celebrated many more cultural festivals, from Christmas to Holi Festival, and keep an annual calendar showing each celebration. Additionally, each year, we hold an ‘Around the World’ week, where everybody is involved in celebrating and enjoying the home traditions of all our children, staff and families. This week is unique and we are always amazed at how many families are willing to get involved to help – our families and staff pool together to ensure a vibrant week full of education , music and open minded respectful celebrations of how we all live.

All who attend our nursery are aware that our continual dedication to cultural awareness falls into alignment with our ethos and supports us in our strive to expand the social aptitude of and instil a respect for others for each child.

Question: How are multicultural practices incorporated into daily activities? Answer: in an abundance of ways. Here’s a snippet….

As of 2017, Paula – our incredible Gibbon Apprentice, will be holding regular German classes with the children. They will each receive their very own, hand-made passport that will be stamped, enabling them to travel into the room to learn an exciting new language. While many of our children speak English, we have a significant number of multi-lingual children. All groups incorporate languages throughout their environment, from having additional languages as part of their visuals in a play area, to counting in several languages during group times and singing songs incorporating languages of all origins. We always ask parents to give us keywords and let us know how their children are developing their home language skills. When staff share a language with children, they are encouraged to speak to them and even give feedback to families in their home languages.

During music time, multicultural, and often instrumental music, from all over the world is played for the children and they are encouraged to play their own versions using the instruments that are situated in the dance studio. As much as possible, we source a range of books that celebrate diversity, both fiction and non-fiction, and encourage families to loan multi-lingual books that are popular in their countries and/or with their children.

We feel it is incredibly important to celebrate popular multicultural festivals and traditions…

Young Friends Nursery believe in creating a dynamic learning environment where all our children learn to recognize, value and celebrate other languages and diverse cultural traditions. Through welcoming families from literally all around the globe and learning and celebrating together, the children become unified and respect that each tradition is equally as important to one another.

  • Festivals/celebration – We ensure that we always celebrate cultural festivals and observances. Every year we do an ‘Around the World’ week at Young Friends, celebrating and enjoying the home traditions of all our children, staff and families. We always invite families into the nursery during these time to share their home cultures with the group.
  • Resources – As much as possible, we source a range of books that celebrate diversity, both fiction and non-fiction, and encourage families to loan multi-lingual books that are popular in their countries and/or with their children. Our dance studio features real multicultural instruments of which we are always looking to increase our stock. All groups have tablets for music moments throughout the day. We do not play music all day as it’s important to give children quiet spaces to think and communicate, but when we do, playlists include sounds from around the world and pop radio is banned as we believe in the importance of exposing children to a wide variety of music.
  • Languages – While the majority of our children speak English, we have a significant amount of multi-lingual children. All groups incorporate languages throughout their environment, from having additional languages as part of their visuals in a play area, to counting in several languages during group times. We always encourage parents to give us keywords and let us know how their children are developing their home language skills. When staff share a language with children, they are encouraged to speak to them and even give feedback to families in their home languages.

A couple of recent family quotes…

“it is really important for us, as a multicultural family. Our children have both enjoyed all the multicultural activities that have been offered…It also helped getting them proud of their own background, and to value their languages beyond English” – Quote. November 2016.

“It is a breath of fresh air in a world that seems to get less and less tolerant of different cultures”   Quote. November 2016.